Variability of [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT reporting in vascular graft and endograft infection

David J. Liesker*, Stijn Legtenberg, Paola A. Erba, Andor W.J.M. Glaudemans, Clark J. Zeebregts, Jean Paul P.M. De Vries, Nabil Chakfé, Ben R. Saleem, Riemer H.J.A. Slart

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: 18F-fluoro-D-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography with low dose and/or contrast enhanced computed tomography ([18F]FDG-PET/CT) scan reveals high sensitivity for the diagnosis of vascular graft and endograft infection (VGEI), but lower specificity. Reporting [18F]FDG-PET/CT scans of suspected VGEI is challenging, reader dependent, and reporting standards are lacking. The aim of this study was to evaluate variability of [18F]FDG-PET/low dose CT (LDCT) reporting of suspected VGEI using a proposed standard reporting format. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted including all patients with a suspected VGEI (according to the MAGIC criteria) without need for urgent surgical treatment who underwent an additional [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT scan between 2006 and 2022 at a tertiary referral centre. All [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT reports were scored following pre-selected criteria that were formulated based on literature and experts in the field. The aim was to investigate the completeness of [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT reports for diagnosing VGEI (proven according to the MAGIC criteria) and to evaluate if incompleteness of reports influenced the diagnostic accuracy. Results: Hundred-fifty-two patients were included. Median diagnostic interval from the index vascular surgical procedure until [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT scan was 35.5 (7.3–73.3) months. Grafts were in 65.1% located centrally and 34.9% peripherally. Based on the pre-selected reporting criteria, 45.7% of the reports included all items. The least frequently assessed criterion was FDG-uptake pattern (40.6%). Overall, [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT showed a sensitivity of 91%, a specificity of 72%, and an accuracy of 88% when compared to the gold standard (diagnosed VGEI). Lower sensitivity and specificity in reports including ≤ 8 criteria compared to completely evaluated reports were found (83% and 50% vs. 92% and 77%, respectively). Conclusion: Less than half of the [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT reports of suspected VGEI met all pre-selected criteria. Incompleteness of reports led to lower sensitivity and specificity. Implementing a recommendation with specific criteria for VGEI reporting is needed in the VGEI-guideline update. This study provides a first recommendation for a concise and complete [18F]FDG-PET/LDCT report in patients with suspected VGEI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3880-3889
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Reporting
  • Vascular graft and endograft infection


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